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Devils Lake City Commission adopts ordinance to tighten taxi regulations

DEVILS LAKE—The Devils Lake City Commission adopted a new ordinance Monday that will require taxi, limo, shuttle and other commercial passenger service drivers to pass drug tests and their vehicles to pass equipment inspections.

The new ordinance, which passed by a unanimous vote, will replace an existing one local officials say is out of date, officials said. The ordinance will take effect immediately.

"Our whole goal here is to make sure our taxis and our drivers are safe for the community.

It's about public safety," Mayor Dick Johnson said.

Devils Lake has been served by several different taxi companies in recent years, as startups have tried to compete with A-1 Taxi, a longtime local business.

The stimulus for the new ordinance indirectly is tied to conflicts between A-1 Taxi and Devils Lake Cab, which was started by a former A-1 employee, Police Chief Keith Schroeder said.

"They just didn't play well together," he said, adding the disagreements ultimately led to a couple of arrests for disorderly conduct.

The new ordinance also addresses potential new companies, such as Uber-type taxis that offer mobile apps to attract customers.

"We put in a provision that we hope would give us some sort of control over future taxi operations, such as Uber," the mayor said.

"I think it will lend to a more stringent operation of the companies themselves," Schroeder said.

Kevin Bonham

Kevin Bonham covers regional news, mostly from northeast North Dakota, for the Grand Forks Herald. A North Dakota native who grew up in Mandan and Dickinson, he has been a reporter or an editor with the Herald and Forum Communications for more than 30 years. Find his articles at: He welcomes story ideas via email,, or by phone, (701) 780-1110.  

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